in tragedy for our network. nbc nbc news corporate den richard engel is speaking for the first time since syrian kidnappers released him and his production team. bullets were flying as they made their escape overght in the middle of a fire fight along the northwestern boarder with turkey. this started last thursday when the news team crossed into syria from turkey. engel says at least a dozen gunmen jumped out of the reese and captured them. engel believes the kidnappers were part of syrian president al assad's regime which has been struggling to stay in power in the face of a rebel uprising twins 2011. engel described what happened after the ambush. >> reporter: they kept us blindfolded, bound, we weren't physically beaten orator toured. it was lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed, the -- kidnappers saw this checkpoint, started -- a gunfight and two of the kidnappers were killed. we climbed out of the vehicle and the rebels took us. >> my family, my brother, my parents, my wife. when we were preede yesterday, rescued by the rebels, one of the happiest moments of my life.